Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cuban Embargo Debate

In Idaho State University's first live streamed event gave anyone the opportunity to watch the competitors debate on the current Cuban embargo conditions.

With only minor technical difficulties there were many people viewing the debate online and also in attendance at Student Union Building on Idaho State's campus.

The audience was asked to vote in the beginning of the debate as undecided, agreeing or disagreeing. The debate had two teams each debating a certain position of the topic. One team argued in favor and the other in opposition.

Ultimately the side supporting the in support of the leaving the embargo in place won the debate with the majority of people agreeing in a final vote that the embargo should remain. The debate is a modified “public forum” style, featuring one pair of speakers on each side of the issue. Each side then takes turns building arguments and answering cross-examination by the opposition. A unique feature, the “Grand Cross Examination,” engages audience members in the questioning with the aid of a moderator.

"The embargo creates a significant impediment that the Castro Regime uses as a means to exploit its people and get with massive amounts of corruption," said Jack Bradley a debater in favor of the motion. "My partner and I made the argument that until the Embargo is lifted, the United States won’t be able to help Cuba transition out of a dictatorship, and towards more of a democracy. That would lead to more accountability and transparency in the Government, which would hopefully combat the sex trafficking epidemic that has faced Cuba for quite some time now."

This argument was ultimately the winning position for the debate. The opposition also gave excellent arguments against the case.

"The flow of money would mainly benefit large corporations and the Cuban government at the expense of the Cuban people because the current U.S. government shows no interest in developing humanitarian rights or environmental regulations," said Mike Chen who opposed the motion. "Our opponents said that the UN would do something about it, but the UN has had no influence over Cuba in the last 60 years of its membership."

The debate was moderated by Dr. Carmen Febles. Febles is a part of ISU's Global Studies department. This debate was an excellent way to engage the audience and also educate those in attendance both physically and online.